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A Team Report: Surrey 18 - 26 London

Inter CountySurrey 18 - 26 London
A Team Report, 13th February 2011

This was a fantastic start to the season against our usual rivals for the Region 7 title (although I think everyone's expecting Berkshire to build on last year's near-miss and have a big say in things this time).

We travelled to Croydon with 9 of the 11 players who won the region last year and are going to Yarmouth for the finals in March, joined by Frank Costello and Nigel Clarke straight up from the juniors. And it wasn't long before the result looked like a foregone conslusion, as London raced into a 14-3 lead. Surrey simply had no answer to London's superb dishing in this period.

Although the standard dropped a bit as we went into the second half of the match, we maintained the pressure by scrapping our way to a few more frames along with some more fine dishing, and ended up with 8-3 wins in each of the first 3 sets.

But it's funny what pressure, or the lack of it, can do. With the win secured we took our foot off the pedal, or relaxed too much; meanwhile Surrey also seemed to relax and it did them a power of good. They won the last set 9-2 and it'd be unfair to say that they didn't deserve it.

So, amazingly, despite having five players going into that final set having won all 3 of their frames, not one player registered a clean sweep! Six ended up with 3/4.

As always the game was played in a good friendly-yet-competitive spirit, and the venue was nice and roomy. There were major problems with the lights though, with several power cuts through the afternoon. I imagine some of the other match reports might have more to say about that... but fortunately for us the A team match was over early enough that only the first and shortest of these breaks had an impact (I don't know how much of an impact it had, but I will point out that we won only 1 of the subsequent 8 frames).

The fact that one already has to take a break for food at Croydon didn't help. I know a few people would prefer not to have that food break but at the end of the day they put on a good spread and it's free, so I don't think there's any reasonable ground for complaint there! There are also clear advantages to their system, especially for the captain who doesn't have to go find people nearly as often, or rearrange the sequence to cater for players whose food's just arrived. It's better for the atmosphere too, that people don't have so many excuses to wander away from the match tables.

They'll have to get their electrics fixed though. Very well done to our B team's vice-captain Robbie Robb who helped sort it out in the end (some of the other matches were on the verge of being abandoned).

Individual Scores:

Rob Chalmers 3/4
Jamie Fay 3/4
Sean Halligan 2/4
Frank Costello 3/4
Chris Snyman 2/4
Darren Baker 3/4
Jerry Tickell 1/4
Rupert Ward 1/4
Andrew Breen 3/4
Nigel Clarke 2/4
Joe Prince 3/4

A Team players are encouraged to add their thoughts/memories of the day as comments.


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